Diwali is a unifying celebration of positivity, fortune and optimism to look ahead and pave the way for a better future. Historically, Diwali has been an occasion to come together to take part in activities from lighting diyas(earthen lamps) to indulging in tasty sweet dishes! When an occasion of such magnitude is celebrated with much fanfare, babies, especially newborns are very vulnerable. It only takes a few steps of precaution for parents to protect and care for their baby during the festival of light, luck and knowledge to ensure that babies are safe and happy, even in the times of festivities.
Why babies need a little extra attention in Diwali
For the initial phase of growth, babies aren’t able to express their distress without crying or calling out for help. Only the closest ones, including mothers are able to figure out when the baby is feeling discomfort or disturbed. In a household, where preparations to welcome light and prosperity to homes are in full swing, it’s imperative to give enough attention to the little ones but mostly, observing a baby’s behaviour is often overlooked.
How babies can be affected during the celebrations
1. Loud Noise:
The tiny ears of your infant are very sensitive towards any noise and susceptible to damage. In the first few years after birth, the ear canals of babies are small, which leads to high sound pressure generation in the ears. In simpler terms, loud sounds become even louder in the ears of your little love. Special attention must be taken as development of their sensory organs take place. In case of a festival like Diwali, where it has been a tradition to burst crackers, it can become very difficult for your baby.
In a festival where diya (earthen lamps), candles and crackers are an essential part of celebration, it’s natural that caution must be taken against fire to minimize accidents. In case of a home with a newborn, this can be a constant reason to worry. Babies may come in contact with firecrackers or any thermal source when in proximity which can be catastrophic. If babies are left to wander, they can tap in the explorer in them and accidentally touch a candle or diya(earthen lamp), which can lead to first degree burns which includes redness, swelling and blisters as well.
3. Over stimulation:
Families come together in times of festivities where many members meet under the same roof. Newborns are often the most adorable topic of conversation and everyone wants to get their hands into pampering them. However, with too many new faces around, babies often get confused, irritated and cranky and act abnormally, showing clear signs of discomfort.
During the preparation of Diwali, houses are decorated with flower garlands and flower bowls with water are kept at every corner. When a baby interacts with the flowers, any allergic reaction may take place unknowingly. This may lead to hay fever or asthma in your little ones because at this age, parents are unaware of every possible allergen of babies.
5. Smoke, ash and fumes:
Air pollution is one of the most serious concerns during Diwali. It is a major problem when people burst firecrackers because it leads to the release of huge amounts of trace gasses like NOx, CO, SO2 and many more. This can be very harmful for your newborn as it can lead to severe respiratory problems.
While this festival is a joyous affair for every Indian household, checking every minute details when the festive rush is going on is very difficult for new parents. Babies are vulnerable to various environmental and physiological illnesses in the festive season.
Here’s how you can protect your baby during Diwali
1. Stop the use of firecrackers:
Firecrackers have a very adverse impact on the environment. It releases various harmful gases in the atmosphere and is very loud to the ears. When firecrackers are burst in proximity of babies, accidental burns, toxic fumes as well as the loud cracking sounds can be dangerous to your little ones.
The best way to keep your baby safe, unharmed and protected from most of the adverse effects of firecrackers is to not use them at all. Families with newborn and children should adopt a clean and green way to celebrate Diwali, where firecrackers are totally prohibited. Instead of firecrackers which lead to loud noise and sparkles that burn, families should light diya, candles and decorate the house with beautiful fairy lights. This way, the baby is kept safe from any accidental hazards and the celebration can take place at full swing.
2. Use baby ear muffs:
Ear muffs is one of the most important necessities for a baby. It becomes extremely important to have a pair ready for newborn during the phase of festivities. During festivities, noise exposure from activities where the sound can reach up to 85+ decibel can cause hearing impairment. Using ear muffs and isolating your baby from noisy environments is the way to tackle this problem. Ear muffs block the extremely loud noises from the celebration of Diwali, including bursting crackers and loud music. Without protection, newborns are at a risk of noise induced hearing loss, which can be easily avoided by the use of ear muffs.
3. Create a safe room:
In simple terms, a safe room is a room which is insulated from the external stimuli to ensure that the babies are safe and comfortable without any disturbance. Even before preparing for Diwali, a special room should be redesigned as babyproof with insulated windows and no exposure to the festive environment. In the safe room, the baby can carry on the normal routine without being affected by the pollution and over-stimulation.
4. Maintain the regular schedule:
Maintaining the normal routine is the key in keeping babies comfortable and safe. Feeding at proper intervals and giving them enough rest is very important for parents to ensure that babies don’t feel overwhelmed and moody, while enjoying the celebrations.